Nikkei. Matsushita Electric Industrial, one of the world’s top consumer electronics companies, is piloting a project that uses waste vegetable oil from its cafeterias as a feedstock for biodiesel for its fleet.
Under the plan, Aburatou Shoji Corp. will collect waste vegetable oil from the canteens at the Matsushita group’s plants in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, and refine it to biodiesel. That biodiesel will then be used to create a B20 blend (20% biodiesel) for use by Matsushita’s distribution subsidiary in the prefecture.
The pilot project will run at the group’s plants in Shiga Prefecture from this autumn through next spring, before expanding the practice to other plants next fiscal year or later.
The plants’ cafeterias in the Kusatsu area generate about 7,000 liters of waste vegetable oil a year. Converting all of that to biodiesel will supply about half the fuel (in a B20 blend) required for trucks the Matsushita group uses in the prefecture.
A growing number of local municipalities—such as Aito Town, Yokkaichi City, Imazu Town, and Shin-asahi Town in Shiga Prefecture—are recycling waste oil into biodiesel, as do some companies, such as Japan’s hamburger chain Bikkuri Donkey.
In addition to Aburatou Shoji, Someya Shoten in Tokyo, Tohoku Eco Systems and Ishibashi Petrol all collect cooking oil waste and convert it into biodiesel at their plants for their own consumption and for sale. (Japan for Sustainability newsletter, Aug 2003.)